2021 Franklin Monroe Boys Golf Team (Dale Barger Photo)

FM Boys Golf Team Gets Win Over Dixie

GREENVILLE – Franklin Monroe hosted Dixie in boys golf at Turtle Creek on Monday and came away with a 200-224 win.

While neither team is challenging for a title both are working hard to improve as the season goes along and build their respective programs to be more competitive.

Franklin Monroe improved to 2-6 on the year and 2-5 in the Western Ohio Athletic Conference and Dixie fell to 1-7 overall and 1-6 in the conference.

I spoke with each of the team’s coaches to learn more about their teams and how the season is going.

Dixie is coached by Wes Hypes who is in his 2nd year of coaching for the Greyhounds who joined the Western Ohio Athletic Conference after competing in the Southwestern Buckeye League.

Hypes graduated from Dixie in 96 and played golf in high school, he loves the game, so coaching golf is fun … plus his son Kaiden is a freshman on the team making it even more enjoyable.

Senior Connor Polsten is in his 3rd year and plays the one spot for Dixie.  Luke Miller a freshman plays the two, Evan Stout a junior is playing the three, Logan Miller who is a brother to Luke is a freshman plays the four and playing the five is another freshman Kaiden Hypes.

“Our true one-player technically is a football player Charlie Betts, and he is in concussion protocol so he can’t play,” Hypes said.  

“I told Charlie I’d get him a little helmet to protect him from flying golf balls,” Wes chuckled.

Betts has only been able to play in the Ryder Cup at the beginning of the year and Dixie is hoping to get him back this week.

Dixie is struggling a little this year playing 3 freshman and having their best golfer out up to this point but did win their first match of year over Mississinawa Valley by one stroke. 

“Ironically we beat Mississinawa last year by one stroke for our only win,” Hypes giggled.

“We’re improving and I believe the program is gaining interest even down into our Junior High program with a couple of kids now playing for a few years that will feed our High School program.  That’s obviously where it has to start and if we can keep that going it will pay dividends.” Hypes concluded.

The FM boys golf team is coached by Andy Zimmerman who is excited about the number he has out for the golf program with 12 on the team.

Last year the Jets finished 4th in the league but hasn’t performed up to expectations yet.

“We’ve struggled a little with injuries and youth with a number of freshmen.  Honestly we just haven’t won the matches we were able to win last year,” Zimmerman said.  

“However, our average scores are getting better across the board despite it being an up and down year to this point,” Zimmerman added.

Junior Braden Cable is playing the one spot and he qualified for the district last year and was a 1st team all-conference player.

Playing at the two is Carson Wright who was solid last year but struggling a little this year due to injuries.

Landon Keller is playing the three and had to have hand surgery the 2nd week of the season and missed a month and just recovered playing in a few matches and has played well.

Sophomore Ethan Warner is sophomore playing at the four and has been the most consistent on the team.

Chase Stebbins is in his first year of golf and a freshman has raised himself just above the other freshman to grab a varsity spot.

Zach Garber is a junior plays the six spot and has scored in the top four a few times.

“We need to get better in our conference matches, we aren’t playing the Turtle like we used to, and it should be a big advantage for us and that’s on me, we have to get better,” Zimmerman stated.

The Franklin Monroe boys’ have numbers and youth, giving them something to build on.

“That’s the best part, and I know more kids are talking about coming out next year, and with no seniors on our team the future is looking bright,” Zimmerman concluded.

Braden Cable is a returning all-league golfer for FM this year. (Dale Barger Photo)
Cade Peters chips one over a hazard (Dale Barger Photo)
Landon Keller missed a month due to hand surgery but is back in good form. (Dale Barger Photo)
Ethan Warner drives off the tee box (Dale Barger Photo)
Freshman Chase Stebbins hits an approach shot to the green. (Dale Barger Photo)

Dale Barger / Sports Editor

Dale Barger is a lifelong sports enthusiast and has covered high school athletics for nearly 20 years in Southwest Ohio and now becomes sports editor for Darke County now. For 18 years Dale has been a sportswriter for The Daily Advocate and has been published in online sorts magazines and conference websites. Dale is also an accomplished photographer who has captured thousands of athletes in action over the years. Dale is a member of The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association and was a 2019 recipient of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Southwest District Media Service Award. Dale lives on a 72-acre farm outside of New Madison, Ohio and is married to Rita Ann (Fourman) Barger and together they have two sons and three grandkids. If you don’t see Dale at a sporting event you might catch him following his other passion – photographing nature and wildlife. Contact Darke County Now Editor Media Sports Editor Dale Barger at dbarger@darkecountynow.com.

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